Indonesia-Vessel Detentions

12 March 2019 No.1020

We have obtained the circular from Spica Services, our correspondents in Indonesia and Singapore, on the increasing number of vessels being detained by the Indonesian Navy in the Eastern portion of the Singapore Strait. Detentions have been concentrated in the popular anchoring places around Bintan Island. This area is within Indonesian territorial waters, and not, as may be believed, OPL (Outer Port Limit) Singapore.


The majority of detention cases appear to involve an allegation of “illegal anchoring”. The ship may be carrying out STS or other cargo or crew operations, but stopping to do this in Indonesian waters means that the ship cannot claim “innocent passage”, as provided for in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 


To avoid difficulties, Spica Services say that a local agent must be appointed to obtain clearance.


See Spica Services’ original circular as attached.